Excellent Movie About On September 9, 2001, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the 48-year-old leader of the forces which came to be known as the Northern Alliance, was assassinated by two men posing as journalists, believed to be acting on orders from Osama bin Laden. Massoud had been waging a lonely battle in Afghanistan's rugged mountains and valleys, first against the Soviets and later against the Taliban.
Charismatic and charming, looking more than a little like Bob Dylan, and trained as an architect, he seems an unlikely guerrilla hero. In the interviews he gives French journalist Christophe de Ponfilly, Massoud proves to be urbane and humane. The filmmaker, for his part, gives a first-person account of eight visits to Afghanistan over a 17-year period, beginning in 1981.
It is an extraordinary journey, filled with images of unreal beauty (blue skies, red mountains) and terrible cruelty, punctuated by the filmmaker's trenchant thoughts on the failure of the West to support Massoud and his followers over more than two decades.
Winner: Prix spécial du Jury - Prix Public Jeune - Prix Planète au FIGRA 1998, Prix du Meilleur Documentaire 98 au Festival dei Popoli à Florence, Prix spécial du Jury au Festival Mondial de Télévision 2000 à Tokyo, Grand Prix du 18ème festival du film Montagne et Aventures d'Autrans.
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